Open Thread: DOJ Blinks? ETA: And Trump Whines

ETA: Okay….so now the President has called a Rose Garden meeting with the press to…whine.

This seems encouraging:

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(quotation feature is borking the layout so I took it out)

Washington (CNN)House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff is scrapping a Wednesday morning meeting intended to take an “enforcement action” against the Justice Department after it agreed to begin providing the committee with counterintelligence documents from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The decision to postpone the business meeting — where Schiff threatened to take an unspecified action against Attorney General William Barr for not complying with the committee’s subpoena for Mueller’s counterintelligence materials — is a rare sign of the Trump administration and a House panel successfully negotiating around a Democratic subpoena for documents.

The development also is a significant boost to Schiff in his effort to view the special counsel’s investigative materials beyond what was contained in the public Mueller report, especially given the Trump administration’s typical stance of all-out resistance to Democrats’ subpoenas and investigative requests.

Schiff had issued a subpoena for all of Mueller’s counterintelligence materials, but he had proposed that the Justice Department begin the effort by providing 12 specific sets of counterintelligence materials that were referenced in the Mueller report. The Justice Department wrote in a letter to Schiff Tuesday that it was continuing to review the initial tranche of 12 categories of documents Schiff wanted and would make them available “in relatively short order,” so long as he didn’t move forward with an action holding Barr in contempt of Congress.

“The Department of Justice has accepted our offer of a first step towards compliance with our subpoena, and this week will begin turning over to the Committee twelve categories of counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials as part of an initial rolling production. That initial production should be completed by the end of next week,” Schiff said in a statement Wednesday morning.

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Adam Schiff always impresses me when I hear him speak.  Another chip in the obstruction brick wall. Meanwhile Mnuchin is prepping for his orange jumpsuit fitting.

Open thread






67 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    Wonky post formatting is wonky. Viewing on Firefox mobile on Android.

  2. 2
    MattF says:

    So, maybe there’s a line Barr is reluctant to cross. Orange Leader won’t like that.

  3. 3

    I just added a link to the live feed of IQ45 whining in the rose garden…

  4. 4

    @Yutsano: Try refreshing…I just went in and copied and pasted a new copy of the text that I think cleared out whatever was messing it up.

  5. 5
    germy says:

    @TaMara (HFG): The rose garden event sounds like an airing of grievances.

    “The crime was committed on the other side… the whole thing was a takedown attempt”

    He sounds like Nixon with his “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” except he refuses to leave.

  6. 6

    I really have to get back to work…but will leave you with this:

  7. 7
    dr. bloor says:

    I can smell “stall move” through my computer. Issues/partial omissions on the agreed-upon docs in 3…2…1…

  8. 8

    From @WhiteHouse pooler @Tierney_Megan: "In the rose garden now. There’s a podium with a sign that says “no collusion, no obstruction” plus some stats about the Mueller probe." Mind you @SpeakerPelosi and @SenSchumer were supposed to be meeting with POTUS at 11:15 a.m.— Nikki Schwab (@NikkiSchwab) May 22, 2019

  9. 9
    germy says:

    Trump tells Democrats again that they can either investigate him or they can do things together for the American people, not both.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) May 22, 2019

  10. 10
    Betty Cracker says:

    I knew they’d figure out a way to kill the Tubman bill. Trump used it to gin up grievance among racist supporters during the campaign. That’s one promise he’s kept, and for Cult45, not having to look at a black woman’s face on their $20s is probably more important than coal jobs anyway.

  11. 11
    Keith P. says:

    Trump literally just said this: “Imagine some time in the future with a Democrat President, and a Republican House. They can impeach him for any reason. That can’t be allowed to happen, folks”

  12. 12

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I was looking for that, thanks! So I’ve added to top of post.

  13. 13
    Yutsano says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Much better now, thanks. I was more worried it was something to do with my phone!

    Haven’t listened to the clips yet, but can’t wait to hear Auntie Maxine take Mnuchin to the woodshed.

  14. 14
    Immanentize says:

    I think the most important Nixon statement — for Democrats at this time — was:

    And in all of my years of public life, I have never obstructed justice. And I think, too, that I can say that in my years of public life, that I welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook.

    Every Democrat should run under the banner:
    People have got to know whether their President is a crook

  15. 15
    germy says:

    Trump, warning about precedent, says "we can't allow" a situation where a Republican House could just impeach a Democratic president for some bad reason.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) May 22, 2019

  16. 16
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Yutsano:

    It’s not too exciting. He’s a master obfuscator.

  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    @Keith P.: So Trump lives his life moving backwards through time and has yet to experience 1998? It’s a theory, I suppose.

  18. 18
    Immanentize says:

    I have to say, I really like Ayanna Pressley, but I so much hate her “yes or no” questioning style. If you have to say “answer yes or no,” you are losing.

  19. 19
    dmsilev says:

    .@RepMaxineWaters seems to think Mnuchin isn’t telling the truth when he says he’s completely unfamiliar with an IRS memo saying Trump’s tax returns need to be turned over to Congress

    Didn’t Munchkin release some sort of word-cloud-thing yesterday claiming that there was no contradiction between the IRS lawyers saying that he must turn over the tax returns and his decision not to do so? You know, my professional colleagues spend huge amounts of time and effort trying to create actual Schrodinger Cat experiments, and all we really needed to do is fire up a news feed.

  20. 20
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Immanentize:

    I think they do that because they’re on the clock, and the administration minions give long, mushy answers that say nothing but use up all the time.

  21. 21
  22. 22

    Trump feels the hot breath of impeachment on his chubby neck.

  23. 23
    zhena gogolia says:

    Daniel Dale’s summary is encouraging — it sounds like he’s in the talking-to-the-portraits stage.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    This seems encouraging:

    Unpossible. The internet has informed me that it’s only the Dems who always cave.

  25. 25
    Betty Cracker says:

    @dmsilev: Trump seems stuck in the 1980s, and it’s understandable why he prefers that decade. Parasitic rich fucks were celebrated in popular culture at least as much then as now, Trump’s hair hadn’t yet turned into urine-colored cotton candy, he’d yet to develop jowls and a bloated carcass and had not yet been forced to declare bankruptcy multiple times, etc. Boy, will he be surprised to find out Republicans consider a consensual blowjob grounds for impeachment in the future!

  26. 26
    Immanentze says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    But it is the biggest invitation in the world to not answer yes or no. Better questions get better answers. First rule, which K Harris follows is, “1 fact per question.”. Once you violate that rule, the witness owns you

  27. 27
    dmsilev says:

    From TPM,

    “Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk in and look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up, I don’t do cover-ups,” he said. “You people know probably better than anybody.”

    Man, he projects more than an IMAX multiplex.

  28. 28
    VOR says:

    @Immanentize: I suspect she is trying to cut through the cloud of squid ink and pin them down.

  29. 29
    burnspbesq says:

    Mnuchin’s attitude is pretty typical of what I’ve seen in my dealings with Goldman people. Aunt Maxine will properly align his shit for him in short order, I expect.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    @dmsilev:

     I don’t do cover-ups,”

    “I mean I try, but I fail miserably at them.”

  31. 31
    Immanentize says:

    But saying “just answer yes or no” is the biggest invitation in the world to not answer yes or no. It never works. Better questions get better answers. First rule, which K Harris follows is, “1 fact per question.”. Once you violate that rule, the witness owns you.

  32. 32
    rikyrah says:

    Wife of lobbyist for Russian plant in KY got boost from McConnell
    Rachel Maddow notes how the dots connect awkwardly for Mitch McConnell after the wife of the lobbyist who alerted McConnell to a huge Russian investment in Kentucky was suddenly processed for a federal judgeship for which she is not qualified.

  33. 33
    Betty Cracker says:

    If the summaries of Trump’s remarks are correct, he basically said he won’t do presidenting until the Democrats abandon their oversight duties under the US Constitution. Hmmm!

  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    McConnell eyed after Russian venture in KY follows sanctions lift
    Senator Sherrod Brown talks with Rachel Maddow about concerns about impropriety after Mitch McConnell’s support for lifting sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska was followed by a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars for Deripaska’s company to open an aluminum plant in Kentucky.

  35. 35
    geg6 says:

    Well, we are having another successful infrastructure week, I see.

    I laugh so I don’t cry.

  36. 36
    Mandalay says:

    Pelosi just rambled about Trump throwing a tantrum and walking out on the Infrastructure Meeting a few minutes ago. YMMV but she sounded senile to me.

  37. 37

    @germy:

    He sounds like Nixon with his “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” except he refuses to leave.

    Neither did Nixon, that quote was from after losing the California Governors race to Pat Brown(Chairman Jerry’s dad) in 1962; Nixon came back 6 years later.

  38. 38
    germy says:

    Days of whines and neuroses

  39. 39
    tobie says:

    @Immanentize: “One fact per question” is good advice. It’s a really effective strategy, as Katie Porter showed.

  40. 40

    @germy: Damn, now I want to go change the title of this post. LOL

  41. 41
    Kent says:

    Read something somewere (Slate or TPM?) describing how the real strategy is to delay until SOCUS goes on summer recess with the expectation that if the GOP majority on the court is uncomfortable with actually ruling in Trump’s favor they might at least simply issue a stay until the court can consider the issue in their next session, which would push any SCOTUS decision on these subpoenas off until summer 2020. Then they could conceivably claim the election is too close and the issue is too political so they have to put it off until after November.

    The Dems can’t be sidetracked by these delay and negotiation tactics.

  42. 42
    germy says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Yes, I know. But at the time it was supposed to be his “last” press conference.

  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I knew they’d figure out a way to kill the Tubman bill. Trump used it to gin up grievance among racist supporters during the campaign. That’s one promise he’s kept, and for Cult45, not having to look at a black woman’s face on their $20s is probably more important than coal jobs anyway.

    Get a Dem President in 2020, and Harriet can return.

  44. 44

    @Keith P.:

    “Imagine some time in the future with a Democrat President, and a Republican House. They can impeach him for any reason.”

    Maybe even getting a BJ from an intern.

  45. 45
    jl says:

    More drama for this infrastructure week than normal.

  46. 46
    The Moar You Know says:

    If the summaries of Trump’s remarks are correct, he basically said he won’t do presidenting until the Democrats abandon their oversight duties under the US Constitution.

    @Betty Cracker: I’ll take that deal. The only “presidenting” he seems to want to do is steal everything not nailed down and make us look like a garbage society to the rest of the world. Which is probably accurate, but you don’t see me walking around advertising that Americans are garbage people. I have to live here.

  47. 47
    rikyrah says:

    @germy:

    Trump tells Democrats again that they can either investigate him or they can do things together for the American people, not both.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) May 22, 2019

    Phuck.Outta.Here.

  48. 48
    delk says:

    I don’t do cover ups.

    Has he even looked at his hair?

  49. 49
    germy says:

    Pelosi sounds badly shook by what she witnessed at the trump meeting. “I pray for the president and I pray for the United States”

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "We had hope that we could give this President an opportunity to have a signature infrastructure initiative. … I pray for the President of the United States and I pray for the United States of America" https://t.co/UVJ0fExlBY pic.twitter.com/855VZMgDVc— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 22, 2019

    That sounds like something one would say after watching the POTUS have an emotional breakdown.

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: She’s always been a lousy public speaker, but Pelosi has all the marbles.

  51. 51
    jl says:

    @Mandalay: ” Trump throwing a tantrum and walking out on the Infrastructure Meeting a few minutes ago. ”

    But news reports said that Trump did throw a tantrum and walked out on the Infrastructure Meeting a few minutes ago.
    they had the signs (full of lies) ready for Trump’s Rose Garden tantrum, so I assume it was all staged.

    It troubles me that that news media allow the Trumpsters (including Sanders today) to lie their asses off about the Mueller report with no correction.
    Mueller referred several issues, including Trump obstruction, to Congress. That is written explicitly in the report. Might they be cowards? If Trump’s reaction to Pelosi’s temperate remarks this morning are an indication, they are probably afraid of Trump smearing them again.

    If a large number of House Dems come to Pelosi and say that they think Trump is committing impeachable acts, what is Pelosi supposed to say? I guess Trump expects her to lie her ass off about it, since that is what he would do.

  52. 52
    jl says:

    @Betty Cracker: Pelosi’s comments, both on state of sentiment for impeachment in the House Dem caucus, on Trump’s behavior, and on the infrastructure plan seemed sensible,very temperate, and coherent to me, as I indicated in my previous comment.

    Edit: but, yes, her deliver seemed a little wobbly today. Maybe she is shook up that either Trump is staging a melt down, or really having one.

  53. 53
    germy says:

    @jl: A republican president staging a melt down is just as frightening as a republican president having an actual melt down, IMO.

  54. 54
    tokyokie says:

    Throwing a tantrum and walking out of a meeting strikes me as the sort of negotiating tactic Trump would employ back when he was a perpetually insolvent real-estate tycoon.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    @germy:

    @jl: A republican president staging a melt down is just as frightening as a republican president having an actual melt down, IMO.

    I don’t think it’s frightening. I think it’s tiresome. But, then again, I’ve been one of those who listened to the psychiatrists two years ago that told us this man was off the rails. I’ve never pretended otherwise. But, if you’re right and she’s shook, then good. She can finally get where a lot of us have been for awhile.

  56. 56
    Ksmiami says:

    I think he is gonna try and lob a nuke at Iran and if he tries it’s instant impeachment or article 25 because a fair amount of right leaning voters are not on board with Mesopotamia 3

  57. 57
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Mandalay #36: Leakage from an alternate universe?

  58. 58
    Martin says:

    @germy: As I said yesterday, nothing in government can get done without Pelosi. She and Schumer teed up the infrastructure plan, knowing two things:

    1) They had the political high ground agreeing to work with Trump, which Trump has just handed to them.
    2) Nancy would invoke PayGo on the plan forcing Trump to decide between infrastructure and his tax cuts.

    I get the sense she’s going to keep handing him opportunities to compromise knowing damn well his instinct will be to shut down government instead. Her public support for impeachment will be delivered on silver platter.

  59. 59
    Martin says:

    People should be paying more attention to the Huawei situation. I’m skeptical that Huawei is a vector for Chinese spying – mostly because I think the US administration is a bad actor right now, but it wouldn’t shock me if it was. After all, the US government is still trying to get US companies to spy on their behalf – that’s the only reason to ask for encryption back doors, after all.

    That said, this is more than just tariff escalation. Huawei is now cut off from Google software and ARM processors and processor licenses (ARM is an IP consortium co-founded by Apple whose members contribute IP and can license designs back out.) Huawei has been a major member of the consortium, and just a few months ago contributed a design optimized for big data that potentially undermined Intels market. They are one of a handful of companies offering 5G hardware, which plays into a problem here in the US as Qualcomm is the only domestic maker of 5G radios now that Intel has backed out of that market.

    This is something more than a traditional trade war. If Huawei is a surveillance vector for the Chinese, then banning their 5G hardware is a prudent move – but why ban Android software or their contribution to ARM designs? Neither of those are a potential spying vector.

    We’ve entered a period where the US and China are banning IP wholesale, and that will not favor the US. Broadcom had moved their HQ to Singapore with their last acquisition and are in the process of repatriating back to the US, but they may cancel this move if they feel that China would retaliate by banning Broadcom hardware. Companies like Apple may similarly be forced to relocate to another country if they were to be banned (the thing that may save Apple is that they employ over a million Chinese workers). But a 25% tariff on iPhones would cost the company $3B each quarter, more than enough money to justify moving their headquarters to Canada or elsewhere, and depriving the US their largest single taxpayer (Apple pays 1%-2% of all corporates taxes collected in the US).

  60. 60
    eemom says:

    @rikyrah:

    Co-sign.

    I mean, how many times do we have to see the same old “Holy Shit, Trump Is REALLY Losing It THIS TIME” headline? It’s like we’re living in Groundhog Day.

  61. 61
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Martin:

    2) Nancy would invoke PayGo on the plan forcing Trump to decide between infrastructure and his tax cuts.

    I don’t see trump or his party having trouble deciding between those two

  62. 62
    stinger says:

    @rikyrah: The lobbyist is Diaper Vitter, right?

  63. 63
    Central Planning says:

    @Martin:

    but why ban Android software or their contribution to ARM designs? Neither of those are a potential spying vector.

    Both of them are potential vectors, or at a minimum enablers of spying vectors. And by enabling, I mean in a way that is not obvious to people who look at the code or ASIC designs.

    I recently watched a youtube video about a guy who figured out backdoors in some older Intel chipsets (IIRC, like the 486 family) where all he had to do was set the right bit in a register and it opened up a communication pathway to some management processor which nobody should really have access to. I understood maybe 3% of what the guy was talking about, but it was fascinating.

    OT – what’s the rule for the seat in gender-neutral bathrooms? Half-up/half-down? Asking for a friend.

  64. 64
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Mandalay: How the fuck would you know “senile”? You aren’t even sentient, shithead.

  65. 65
    Emerald says:

    @Mandalay: Yet this is the woman who beat Twitler twice, on the wall funding and on the budget. She’s really the only one who has beaten him.

    How soon we forget.

  66. 66
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Immanentize: I’m confident you’re right. Can you give an example of how better questions would be structured? Would be interested to learn how that’s done.

  67. 67
    evodevo says:

    @stinger: Yes…

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